Saturday, November 9, 2013

VMworld 2013 Conference Highlights

CEO General Session

Speaker: VMware’s CEO Patt Galsinger

“The Software Defined Data Center”

22,000 attendees this year to VMworld 2013!

VMware’s 3 Imperatives:
  1. Virtualize all the things
  2. IT management gives way to automation
  3. Hybrid cloud will be ubiquitous
4 Pillars of a Software Defined Data Center:
  1. Compute
  2. Storage
  3. Network
  4. Management and Automation
Product Announcements:
  • Compute:
    • ESXi 5.5 (vSphere 5.5)
  • Storage:
    • Virtual SAN (vSAN)
    • Virtual Volumes
    • vFlash Read Cache
    • Virsto
  • Network:
    • VMware NSX (major topic for VMworld this year)
  • Management/Automation:
    • vCloud Hybrid Services
New in ESXi 5.5:
  • 2x (cores and other limits raised)
  • App Aware H.A.
  • Big Data Extensions
  • Hadoop
Software Defined Storage:
  • Policy driven control plane
  • Virtual data plane
  • Application centric data services
New with vSAN:
  • Simplifies Storage
  • distributed software datastore
  • Resilient
  • Policy driven
  • Elastic
  • High performance
  • * Release in 1H 2014 *
New in Networking with NSX:
  • Software Defined Networking (SDN)
  • What ESX was to hardware, NSX is to networking
  • Network virtualization platform
Summary: VMware is hell bent on removing all IT admins (Storage/Server/Network/Management) from the data center and replacing them with Virtualization Admins!

VMworld 2014 – Save the Date – August 24th - 28th, 2014

COO General Session

Speaker: VMware COO, Carl Eschenbach

ITaaS (IT as a Service)
  • Self service
  • Transparent Pricing
  • Governance
  • Automation
All about “having the perception that you have control”

Focus: East and West Fabric
  • There is a major shift of traffic volume in the data center from North-South (client-server) to East-West (server-server).
New Product Summary:
  • vSAN – Simplifies storage, distributed software datastore
  • Virtual Vol – VVOLS – VM centric, snapshot VMDK from storage
  • Virstro – Appliance that aggregates storage pool as NFS data store
  • Horizon View – Desktop Virtualization Product (renamed from “VMware View”)
War Room – designated for critical issues

Virtual San

Presenter: Kiran Madnani
  • On Beta forms, for vSAN, have had conversations with him before
Virtual Data Plane – pooling hardware like a hypervisor does – “hypervisor based pooling of heterogeneous hardware”

Virtual SAN (vSAN):
  • Single datastore called “vsanDatastore” by default, can be renamed.
  • Optimized for resources that are a mix of expensive and inexpensive
  • Scale out
  • Software solution
  • Cluster disks and cache
  • High performance – flash based distributed read / write cache
  • VM centric management
  • Automated SLA management
  • High resiliency – distributed RAID
  • Dynamic capacity scaling
  • Rebuilds happen in parallel
  • Different sizes of servers – including magnetic disks
  • Storage policy specification
    • Capacity, availability, performance
    • Distribution, RAID and SLA are on a per VM level
    • Works with vMotion, storage vMotion, DRS, SRM, etc
  • 3 x ESXi 5.5 Hosts
  • vCenter 5.5
  • 1 x SSD empty
  • 1 x HDD empty
  • Network: 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps (preferred)
  • SAS/SATA controller working in passthru/JBOD/HBA mode
Performance: 80 – 100K IOPS ???  (I have not seen this level of performance from my tests)

Use Cases:
  • VDI
  • Test/Dev
  • Data Center Consolidation
  • Big Data
  • Private Cloud
  • Disaster Recovery
Join the vSAN beta:

Power CLI Best Practices

Strong PowerCLI community.  Google “PowerCLI Community”

Based off of PowerShell

Works off of objects (can pipe objects too!)

Uses verb-noun construct in plain English

Easy help: get-help

New in 5.5:
  • Same: core, image, auto deploy, license, vds, cloud, tenants
  • Tagging
  • Open-vmconsole - awesome
Best Practices:
  • Store results in variables
  • Help and Examples
  • -ShowWindow switch
  • Functions breakdown
  • Splatting (put parameters into hash table)
  • Make it simple
  • Try, catch, throw
  • Filter on the left
  • Steal from the best
  • Don’t use write-host
Check out VMware Flings – free projects that are very useful!

Exchange Messages Between Guest and Host using RPC

Cool stuff, might be useful for vCenter Plugin?

Uses a combination of Guest API and VMware Tools

Fling Guest API Library –

VAM (Virtual Machine Monitor)

Good for monitoring an application and posting to vSphere Client

vSAN Panel

  • Be able to track trends (request from audience)
  • Provision without having to pester IT
  • CapEx driven
  • Direct Attach – host pinning – get around
  • Moves responsibility from Storage Team to virtualization team, but can they handle the extra load?
Join the vSAN beta:

Ask the Experts

  • Duncan Epping, VMware – Yellow Bricks blog
  • William Lam, VMware – Virtually Ghetto blog
  • Scott Lowe, VMware –
  • Vaughn Steward, NetApp – Virtual Storage
Awesome blogs, add to favorites!

What about Linux side Automation – PowerCLI seems to be the focus now
  • pySphere – soap suds (recommended by William Lam)

vSAN Best Practices

Use Cases:
  • Best used for VDI
  • Tier 2 & Tier 3 Test / Dev Private Cloud
  • DR Target (SRM)
  • Branch Office making use of replication
vSAN is just a cluster object/property

vSAN Workflow:
  • Setup Network and vmk interfaces
  • Enable vSAN
  • Set vSAN Auto Mode or Manual Mode
    • Manual Mode: Pick disks
Best practice: have each host similarly configured for best results

Storage policies are like Storage Profiles v2

Policy Capabilities:
  • Stripes per object
  • Failures to tolerate
  • Space reservation
  • Flash read cache reservation
  • Force provisioning
Performance Monitoring:
  • Esxtop
  • Performance manager UI
  • RVC & Observer (where does one get these from??)

Performance Group Discussion

  • Trust VMware NUMA default settings, the experts know better.  Modify at your own peril!
  • App must be NUMA aware
  • NUMA allows scheduling RAM on same CPU
Virtual CPUs:
  • Virtual Cores only added for licensing reasons.  Using Virtual Sockets vs Virtual Cores makes no difference to VM.
  • Match Hardware and Virtual CPU to actual need for best results
  • Max, don’t allocate more Virtual CPUs than system has of cores (ignore HT and the like)
  • If latency sensitive – don’t over subscribe!  Simple as that.
  • Monitor with vCenter Operations
  • No silver bullet
  • New “latency” property in 5.5 for Network latency related issues (reserves CPU time)
  • Split out disks (luns) is still a good practice for database
  • Qdepth, queues, and paths

PCIe Hotplug

Supported with Native Driver – another good reason to switch to native driver model

VMware Ready

VMware: Joe Taylor, Pat Richards, Matt Stander

Matt Stander – runs Dev Center (, or is that

All in the Ecosystems Engineering department

Dev Center & VMware Ready – One stop development shop for partners

VMware has 20,000 partners, and 3,000 technical partners.


Resources: Dev Center, Partner Central, Dev Community,

Workbench IS – for integrating directly into existing eclipse installs

SDK UI Integration docs and guides

  • Community forums for developers?
    • Coming
  • How to get better dev support?
    • Sales Force pay style coming
  • How to get in as inbox driver?
    • One off requests
  • TAM or SDK support (SLA)?
    • Ecosystems Engineering
  • IOVP Recert 5.5?
    • Will better communicate
  • vSAN Cert on Dev Center?
    • Coming
  • Native Driver?
    • Slowly migrate and deprecate Linux
  • Workbench – why SLES?
    • Legal reasons, getting unified with other departments
  • Need packaging repo
    • Conference for Dev or more technical dev sessions at VMworld?
Have we tried the new Test Manager that can help automate IOVP process?
  • Workbench – top left tutorials
  • CLI / Log browser
DDV – Dynamic Driver Verifier on Dev Center

ROSA – will migrate to Dev Center eventually

Dev Support SLA – can hire a guy for a week through Dev Consulting at about $11K a week.  Managed through “Sandy”.  Contact Martin Lister / Joe Taylor for more information (Ecosystem Engineering)

Recommend using Ecosystems Engineering over TAM.  (TAM account manager-> GSS -> Product Management)

vCenter Deep Dive

Web Client now in Simple Install

Custom install: for distributed setup

New in Web Client 5.5:
  • Now includes Mac OSX Support
  • Filter by tags
  • Recent Objects Tab
  • Missing: VUM, Host Client, SRM
  • Performance still sucks
  • Database “shattered” into smaller ones to help with performance
  • Dropped database
  • Dropped master password

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